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Cellphone use may lead to lower grades

Researchers have found that cell phone use among students was negatively related to cumulative college grade point average (GPA) and positively related to anxiety in students.

Photo of Kent State student with cell phoneKent State University researchers Andrew Lepp, Ph.D, Jacob Barkley, Ph.D, and Aryn Karpinski, Ph.D., all faculty members in the university’s College of Education, Health and Human Services, surveyed more than 500 university students.

Daily cell phone use was recorded along with a clinical measure of anxiety and each student’s level of satisfaction with their own life, or in other words happiness.

Finally, all participants allowed the researchers to access their official university records in order to retrieve their actual, cumulative college grade point average . All students surveyed were undergraduate students and were equally distributed by class (freshman, sophomore, junior and senior).

Hypertension main link of erectile dysfunction 

Inability of the artery that supplies blood to the penis to expand and contract properly is the reason behind erectile dysfunction (ED).

The study of this mechanism has led to a new understanding of the important link between ED and the development of coronary artery disease, and to new strategies for prevention and treatment.

In the article ‘Hypertension: The Link Between Erectile Dysfunction and Coronary Artery Disease,’ Jacob Rajfer, MD, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, and Martin Miner, MD, Warren Alpert School of Medicine, Brown University, Providence, RI, proposes that hypertension negatively affects the flow of blood to both the heart muscle and the erectile tissue of the penis.

In both organs it appears to be caused by age-related cell death within the smooth muscle that lines the walls of the blood vessels.

Ajay Nehra, MD, Editor-in-Chief and Chair, Department of Urology, Director, Men’s Health, Rush University Medical Centre, Chicago, Illinois, said the article further substantiates the correlation between cardiac disease, hypertension, and erectile dysfunction and provides healthcare providers with an insight into discussing the status of erectile function.

How humans make toss-up decisions decoded

A new study has revealed that random fluctuations in brain cell activity may determine how we make decisions when given choices.

To study the roles brain cells play in decision-making, Camillo Padoa-Schioppa, PhD, assistant professor of neurobiology, economics and of biomedical engineering at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, developed a system for presenting primates a choice between two drinks, such as grape juice or apple juice. The type and amount of the drink varies, and researchers record the activity of individual brain neurons as the primates choose.

Based on the decisions of a single animal over multiple trials, scientists infer the subjective value the animal assigns to each drink and then look for ways this value is encoded in brain cells.

“For example, if we offer a larger amount of apple juice versus a smaller amount of grape juice, and the primate chooses each option equally often, we infer that this primate likes the grape juice better than the apple juice,” he explained.

Padoa-Schioppa showed that different groups of cells in the orbitofrontal cortex reflect different stages of the decision-making process.

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